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Peace & Nonviolence

Summary | Upcoming Peace Events: thru January 19

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  • In Solidarity with Peacemakers...American Muslim-Life of Islamic Women in the Midwest...An Evening with Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer...Cynthia McKinney: How US Support for Israeli Oppression in Palestine Leads to Politiical Oppression at Home...!
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  • Don’t Forget to Write and Speak Out!!!
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Coleen Rowley, Evergreene Digest

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Tuesday, January 11
In Solidarity with Peacemakers: Hear Meredith Aby, Sarah Martin, Bruce Nestor, and Jack Nelson Pallmeyer, 7PM, Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis.

In September, 2010, he FBI raided antiwar activists' homes in Minneapolis and Chicago. Fourteen activists were given supoenas to appear before a Grand Jury in Chicago. Now these peace and solidarity activists face prison sentences for refusing to cooperate with the Grand Jury. There have been no charges, no arrests.

Sponsored by Women Against Military Madness (WAMM). Endorsed by five other organizations. FFI: 612-827-5364

Thursday, January 13
American Muslim-Life of Islamic Women in the Midwest. Presented by Imani Joafar-Mohammad, Esq., 7PM, Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701 36th Avenue North, (corner of 36th and Boone) New Hope. FFI: NWN4P@yahoo.com or Carole Rydberg, 763-546-5368.

Saturday, January 15
An Evening with Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. In  memory of Vi Grooms-Alban, founder of the Itasca Progressive Caucus at our second annual fund raiser. Free and open to the public, free will offering, donations used to support our Committee's activities.
•    Silent Auction
•    Potluck Meal
•    Door Prizes
•    Live Music
•    Skit "Saturday Night Weekend Update: Oscar Meyers Interviews Corporation X"
3PM, Trout Lake Township Community Center, 24951 County Road 10, Bovey, MN. FFI: 218-259-7426.

Wednesday, January 19
Cynthia McKinney: How US Support for Israeli Oppression in Palestine Leads to Politiical Oppression at Home

Former Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, peace activist Sarah Martin and civil rights attorney Jordan Kushner will discuss the FBI raids, subpoenas, and suppression of opposition to U.S. support of Israel’s repression of Palestinians

Cynthia McKinney has faced political repression and risked her life for her outspoken criticism of Israeli treatment of Palestinians.  Her six terms as a U.S. Congresswoman ended when pro-Israel lobby groups led a well-financed smear campaign against her.  In 2006, a right-wing radio host / FBI-trained agent provocateur announced a program topic suggesting that Cynthia McKinney be lynched on her way to the polls and published her campaign address.  As a passenger on The Dignity, a humanitarian relief boat to Gaza in 2008, Ms. McKinney braved an attack by Israeli gunboats that repeatedly rammed and tried to sink The Dignity in international waters.

Wednesday, January 19, 7:00 PM, St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, FREE and open to the public. FFI: WAMM at 612-827-5364

Don’t Forget to Write and Speak Out!!!

In 2011, don’t let the politicians fall down on the the jobs they were elected to do ….  Don’t forget to write and speak out PUBLICLY!!!  *Fantastic honor and adoration to the first on my peace list who gets his/her letter to the editor published!!

Bill Sorem - Citizen Journalist, Video

Veterans for Peace lead Civil Resistance at the White House - 132 Arrested including eight from Minnesota

Former FBI Agent Rowley & 134 Others Arrested at White House, The UpTake
Former FBI Agent Coleen Rowley was one of 17 Minnesotans demonstrating in front of the White House, Thursday, December 16. She and 7 other Minnesotans were ...

Oscar Meyers interviews Corporation X (a short educational film) (produced by Mel, a member of “Minnesotans for Peace” who went to Washington DC last January, 2010)

WAMM Singers Energize Peace Rally  The UpTake  (correction”: this was not actually WAMM but the “Counter-Propaganda Carolers”)
WikiRebels--The Documentary (free online viewing) Click here.
This is an excellent 57 minute documentary to learn the history and truth about WikiLeaks.  We do not need to stick our heads in the sand and be afraid of the truth.  In fact if we are to keep any semblance of democracy as well as national and personal security, ignorance is not bliss; it is crucial for citizens to learn the truth of what their government is doing in their names.

Remember that real hope is about doing something!  Address your letters to opinion@startribune.com, letters@pioneerpress.com, your local community newspapers and/or national editors (even if they’re not published, as it will help educate the editors and you can post them afterward as online comments).

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.    ---James Madison  (1795)

A war of aggression, sometimes also war of conquest, is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense usually for territorial gain and subjugation. The phrase is distinctly modern and diametrically opposed to the prior legal international standard of "might makes right", under the medieval and pre-historic beliefs of Right of conquest. Since the Korean War of the early 1950s, waging such a war of aggression is a crime under the customary international law. It is generally agreed by scholars in international law that the military actions of the Nazi regime in World War II in its search for so-called "Lebensraum" are characteristic of a war of aggression, the waging of which was called the supreme crime by Justice Robert H. Jackson, chief prosecutor for the United States at the Nuremberg Trials.

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which followed World War II, called the waging of aggressive war "essentially an evil thing...to initiate a war of aggression...is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

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63 Percent of Americans Oppose War In Afghanistan

There are, however, at least two groups where there is still a slim majority of support for the war -- the Republican Party establishment, and Tea Party activists.

Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post

Opposition to the war in Afghanistan is at an all-time high, with 63 percent of the public now opposed to U.S. involvement there, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey. Just 35 percent of survey respondents say they still support U.S. involvement.

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The increase in opposition to U.S. involvement comes as pessimism about how the war is going is rising. According to a poll done Dec. 17-19, 56 percent of the public believes that "things are going badly for the U.S. in Afghanistan."

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There are, however, at least two groups where there is still a slim majority of support for the war -- the Republican Party establishment, and Tea Party activists. Here's a look at the partisan breakdown of supporters and oppositionists.

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I apologize for my country

I apologize for the fact that so many Americans don’t seem to care as much as they should about the wars and war atrocities like illegal drone massacres and illegal use of torture that are being conducted in their names. But it’s like past times in history when whole populations, i.e. the “good Germans”, have become complicit and it’s due to an evil system rather than due to the American people themselves.

Coleen Rowley, WAMM Today

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest  today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

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Dear People of Afghanistan:

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I don’t know what to say or how to start. Some of us are so ashamed and focused on and sorry for all the destruction our country has caused in the world. We keep trying to think of what we can do to change the situation but year after year, as we protest (see my attached photos), we’ve not been successful in changing the militaristic direction of the American empire. The problem is that we are in the minority of those who care. It’s probably hard for you to understand how this could happen as the wars are so unjustified and so wrong.

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But we no longer have real freedom here except the freedom to shop. As our “Father of the Constitution James Madison warned: “No country can maintain its civil liberties in the midst of continual war.” So those who dissent from official USpolicies are losing their freedom to inform others and be informed.

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START Treaty is not a Step Toward Nuclear Disarmament

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  • In order to achieve this "deal," the media told us for months, Obama "had to agree" to tens of billions in new funds for "modernizing" the US nuclear armaments. Feel safer?
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  • There is no disarmament required by the treaty.  There is no indication that it is a "first step" toward "further" "disarmament."
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  • "New START" Ratification Likely End of Obama's "Disarmament Vision," and of Arms Control Era, as New Political Alignments, Fresh Crises Loom
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Greg Mello, Tikkun

What began as a business-as-usual replacement for a Cold War arms treaty, and then became a major legislative challenge for the Obama Administration, was finally ratified by the U.S. Senate today after unusually-involved negotiations with Senate Republicans.  New START is a force-affirmation treaty, designed to clarify, but not change or disarm, U.S. and Russian nuclear arms.  There is no disarmament required by the treaty.  There is no indication that it is a "first step" toward "further" "disarmament."  

These negotiations resulted in extensive commitments by the Administration to new spending and upgrades to U.S. strategic armaments, including nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons infrastructure, missile defense research, development, and deployments, and continued development of conventional global strike weapons -- much of which is applicable to nuclear delivery systems as well, being currently barred only by (mutable) law.   
Ultra-accurate submarine-launched ballistic missile delivery systems have already been developed (but not deployed) under this last program.  
The full cost of this treaty cannot yet be assessed, as not all the details of understandings reached have been made public, and the full import of some which have depends on future decisions and events.  Just this week, and on top of announcements of two major increases in nuclear weapons spending, President Obama promised four senators (including two Democrats) that nuclear weapons complex spending would be exempt from any future fiscal austerity measures that might otherwise apply to appropriations in the Energy and Water subcommittees.  The prior increases are posted here and analyzed here and elsewhere at www.lasg.org.  

The long struggle to ratify the treaty, and its huge final cost in the very coin of arms control which the treaty purports to advance, signals just how weak the Cold War arms control consensus has become.  Prospects for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), for example, appear nil for the foreseeable future.  The U.S. will ratify this treaty, if it does, only when its progressive ratification by other states has reached a point of embarrassment wholly incompatible with U.S. geostrategic ambitions.    

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The way forward for arms controllers is not clear.  Russia has made clear on numerous occasions that it has no intention of pursuing further nuclear cuts and has halted the financially-driven erosion of its nuclear forces.  With Russia now the world's largest oil producer and the supplier of a controlling fraction of natural gas to Europe -- a fraction that is expected to grow considerably in the coming years -- Russia is not the weak negotiating partner that it was during, say, the START II negotiations.  The reality of Russian power -- and U.S. weakness vis-a-vis military operations in the oil- and gas-rich regions south of Russia -- was not lost on Republican ratification opponents.  

While on their face most of the Republican objections to ratification appeared foolish and ill-informed, these objections also conveyed a deep unease about the future of American global power, which is hardly misplaced.  

The makeup of the incoming House and Senate (112th) is likely to be much more hostile to arms control than the (111th) Congress now concluding.  
Looking ahead, prospects for conventional arms control appear worse.  There are 23 Democratic Senate seats up for election in 2012, including 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats, compared to only 10 Republican seats.  In 2014 Democrats are currently expected to have 20 seats up for election, and Republicans 13, although obviously this could change.  For these and other reasons, prospects for conventional arms control measures appear bleak for the foreseeable future.  

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At the same time fresh and far more severe crises are looming, which, in their earliest manifestations, have already begun to capture Congress's (and voters') attention.   

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The implications for the New Mexico laboratories are complex.  As noted here, they will suffer from an unprecedented infusion of cash -- about six times the total scale of the Manhattan Project in New Mexico, measured in constant dollars.  But will this bring better morale, better science, better community relations, a more wholesome community in Los Alamos -- or even better stockpile management?  That is very far from assured.  The reverse, I think, is very likely true.  The best days of Los Alamos are in the past, and if the day ever dawns when excavation begins on the giant plutonium complex slated to cost a factor of ten more any federal or state project ever conceived for New Mexico, save the Interstate Highways, it will be a dark day.  

As Robert Oppenheimer put it on the 16th of October, 1945, "If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima. The people must unite, or they will perish."

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Now we know that it may or not be atomic weaponry which kills them, but rather the distraction they have brought, and misprioritization of scarce resources they incur.  Today's treaty ratification is not an occasion of joy for the world, but rather a somber warning of the failure of our political system to understand and defend against the true dangers we face.

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The Christian-Military-Industrial Complex

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  • It’s true that my Christian faith gives me a passion for peace and sets me at odds with militarism. But I think I’d feel a similar dissatisfaction if the last resort for economic survival at our bookstores was selling Home Depot or Wal-Mart gift cards. I just have higher hopes for a distinctive Christian witness in the world today, even in a recession … especially in a recession.
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  • Bombs, Cookies And The Cross: A Christian View On Military Spending
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  • Western Civilization and Classical Economics: The Immorality of Austerity
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Shane Claiborne, Sojourners/God's Politics

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest  today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

I went into a Christian bookstore the other day and was surprised to see some of the most prominent display space given over to military flags for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. These flags, and a vast assortment of Americana merchandise, were on sale for the holidays.
A part of me ached because I know how difficult it must be to run a little Christian bookstore these days. But

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I winced as I heard the manager fatalistically confess that he resorted to selling military merchandise to “make it.” It is a sad day when we sell our military banners next to Jesus’ enemy-loving cross to make it in a financial recession. (Before long we’ll be pushing posters of scantily-clad women accompanied by a verse from Song of Solomon).

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It’s true that my Christian faith gives me a passion for peace and sets me at odds with militarism. But I think I’d feel a similar dissatisfaction if the last resort for economic survival at our bookstores was selling Home Depot or Wal-Mart gift cards. I just have higher hopes for a distinctive Christian witness in the world today, even in a recession … especially in a recession.

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Bombs, Cookies And The Cross: A Christian View On Military Spending, Shane Claiborne, Huffington Post

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  • Let us put our hands together and build a world where the schools have enough money and the militaries have to sell cookies for their uniforms.
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  • Who Will Listen to the Voices of Veterans Calling for Peace?
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Western Civilization and Classical Economics: The Immorality of Austerity, Prof. John Kozy, Centre for Research on Globalization<>

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  • When a civilization abandons its morality, no rationalization can be devised to justify its continued existence. It is likely that many reasons can be given for this abandonment in the Western world, although I am convinced that one predominates—the expansion of law. Law once governed various kinds of behavior. It has now encroached upon various kinds of speech and is even being applied to the realm of belief. When someone is accused of having done something wrong, the reply offered usually is something like, "What was done complied with all legal requirements." But "right" has never been defined as "conforms to law," because thoughtful people have long noticed that the law itself can be a great crime, and the worst criminals in a culture can be its lawgivers, as the people of Ireland, Portugal, France, Spain, Greece, and Great Britain are now finding out. Americans will soon find it out too.
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  • The Economy is Sacred, Stupid
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17 Minnesotans participated in the Vets “Stand for Peace”

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  • Steve McKeon*, Jack Neis*, Gerald Ganann*, Barry Riesch*, Coleen Rowley*, Melissa Hill*, Janice Ward*, Camille Lenling*, Molly Culligan, Bruce Berry, Bob Heberle, Bob Palmer, Charlie Bloss, Anne Bellamy, Kevin Ray Smith, Toni Radmann, Wayne Wittman
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  • 8 (*) did the Rosa Parks thing of following a higher law which got them arrested
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Coleen Rowley, Evergreene Digest

Janice and Melissa did not pay their $100 fine and will therefore continue to try to explain the higher law (including “necessity defense”) to the continuation of unjustified wars of aggression and war crimes to the DC authorities.   This was an unbelievably fantastic result in such a short planning time.  (Take a bow everyone!!) 

I think this excellent article, Wikileaks and Power Elites by Michael Faulkner, tells our current situation quite well.  We are living that barricades scene in "Les Miserables" but we don't know quite yet how the book will end!  We need many, many more "mere mortals" to write, speak and sing out publicly if we want it to end well.  If the newspapers and politicians were flooded with letters and op-eds and just calling in our righteous outrage, they might decide they have chosen wrongly to stand with the powerful but corrupt military industrial elites.

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Some of the links to news coverage are below.  Unfortunately our lamestream press fell down on the job again. -- Coleen Rowley

Police Arrest 131 Antiwar Protesters In Front Of White House, Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post
Hoping to spark the country's silent majority into action, 131 antiwar protesters got themselves arrested Thursday (Dec 16), in one of the larger acts of civil disobedience in front of the White House in some time.

Pulitzer-winner, ex-CIA analyst, FBI whistleblower among those arrested outside White House, David Edwards, The Raw Story
As President Barack Obama was unveiling a new report on progress of the war in Afghanistan, a lineup of high-profile dissenters joined in an act of civil disobedience that ended with about 135 demonstrators being arrested outside the White House Thursday afternoon.

Veterans for Peace Take Demand to White House Fence, David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org


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‘Hope Is Action’: Hedges and Ellsberg Arrested at White House Protest

Ellsberg said, "This war is going to end only because the American public has awakened to their responsibilities and to the realities of this war.” The “big lie” that the American government is telling its people now, Ellsberg believes, “is that these wars are protecting us at home.”
No Act of Rebellion Is Wasted

TruthDig

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell
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On Thursday (Dec 16), author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges and Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg were among the 131 anti-war activists arrested during a nonviolent demonstration outside the White House to protest against the war in Afghanistan as well as America’s ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Pakistan.

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Hedges delivered a rousing speech about the nature of hope (in contrast to what certain campaign slogans might have suggested in recent years), pointing out that “hope has a cost, hope is not comfortable,” before joining other supporters of Veterans for Peace who chained themselves to the White House fence. When asked why he chose that course of action, Hedges replied, “Because it’s all we have left at this point. ... The normal mechanisms by which democratic participation are rendered possible in this country have been closed shut, and if we don’t do this, we die. This is what’s left of hope in this country.”

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No Act of Rebellion Is Wasted, Chris Hedges, TruthDig.com

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  • We may feel, in the face of the ruthless corporate destruction of our nation, our culture, and our ecosystem, powerless and weak. But we are not. We have a power that terrifies the corporate state. Any act of rebellion, no matter how few people show up or how heavily it is censored by a media that caters to the needs and profits of corporations, chips away at corporate power.
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  • Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16
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  • Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails
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  • The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell
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Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail

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  • What can I tell you about war?
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  • 131 Choose Arrest at White House as Veteran-led Civil Resistance Demands: "Stop These Wars"
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Chris Hedges, TruthDig

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest  today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

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One hundred thirty-one demonstrators, Chris Hedges among them, were arrested in front of the White House on Thursday (Dec 16). AP / Susan Walsh

The speeches were over. There was a mournful harmonica rendition of taps. The 500 protesters in Lafayette Park in front of the White House fell silent. One hundred and thirty-one men and women, many of them military veterans wearing old fatigues, formed a single, silent line. Under a heavy snowfall and to the slow beat of a drum, they walked to the White House fence. They stood there until they were arrested.

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The solemnity of that funerary march, the hush, was the hardest and most moving part of Thursday’s protest against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It unwound the bitter memories and images of war I keep wrapped in the thick cotton wool of forgetfulness. I was transported in that short walk to places I do not like to go. Strange and vivid flashes swept over me—the young soldier in El Salvador who had been shot through the back of the head and was, as I crouched next to him, slowly curling up in a fetal position to die; the mutilated corpses of Kosovar Albanians in the back of a flatbed truck; the screams of a woman, her entrails spilling out of her gaping wounds, on the cobblestones of a Sarajevo street. My experience was not unique. Veterans around me were back in the rice paddies and lush undergrowth of Vietnam, the dusty roads of southern Iraq or the mountain passes of Afghanistan. Their tears showed that. There was no need to talk. We spoke the same wordless language. The butchery of war defies, for those who know it, articulation.

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131 Choose Arrest at White House as Veteran-led Civil Resistance Demands: "Stop These Wars", BorderExplorer, All Voices
Civil Resistance to war today (Thursday, Dec 16) at the White House fence leads to 131 arrests.

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